20 August 2009
Subclipse vs Subversive
Along with pretty much the rest of the Java development world, I've never worked out why there are two competing Subversion clients, and they both manage to fail so spectacularly at providing a fundamental feature of software development.
A recent Eclipse freak-out inspired me to start from scratch, and compare my previous installation of Subclipse with a new installation of Subversive. The results really aren't that pleasurable.
Firstly, Subversive doesn't work right out of the box. You have to go to a separate Connectors update site to install the binaries which will communicate with SVN. Subversive adds a "Migrate projects and settings" dialog to Eclipse - why is this necessary? And secondly - the most important part - it will not work with previously existing SVN repositories. Does this mean Subversive + TortoiseSVN is impossible?
However, Subclipse isn't that much better. Subclipse requires installation through a separate update site anyway, but at least the SVN connectors are listed in the same update site. Subclipse works with existing SVN repositories. Yet I still feel there is some inconsistencies going on when developing with Subclipse; if you rename a Java class, it will frequently not copy SVN history over (another fundamental requirement!!). Copy and pasting folders will also not copy over history.
As a result, I rate both of these plugins as miserably useless. TortoiseSVN as a result is my SVN provider of choice. The only reason I have to have a SVN plugin installed is because otherwise, it's far too easy to mess up your SVN metadata directories and fall into Subversion hell.
At least Eclipse's p2 allows for quick uninstallation of these plugins.
Music: Otep – Hooks & Splinters